An Open letter to my Brothers in Arms

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; 

(William Shakespeare, Henry V)

DSC01031After 25 days of being stretched, trained and of having received the call from Above, we are now all settling back to our nations, cities, jobs, homes and families.  We have been blessed with an amazing retreat and opportunity to refocus on that which is of “first importance” (1 Corinthians 15:1-9)….the Gospel.

As we settle back in, let us never forget our call, let us never again see our jobs as merely that, a job.  Where we all are right now is where God would have us, and where we are to settle our Embassy.  Whatever our profession, that is our vocation now, our ministry and it is there that we bring the message that as ambassadors of the King, we have been sent to tell, minister and show…RECONCILIATION.

“11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:11-21, ESV)
So let’s plug back in the “normal” rhythm of our lives with a newfound sense of enthusiasm in its truest sense of the word: “be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy”…of truly being In (en) God (theos).
God bless you all, you have enriched, challenged and rekindled my faith in friendship and brotherhood.  May God allow us to continue to serve each other, pray for each other and even meet on this side of Heaven again.  Look to Jesus always, dive deep in sound doctrine, and pour yourselves out in service to your loved ones, your church and your communities.
May these words inspire you to move forward:

Soneto a Jesus Crucificado / Sonnet to Jesus Crucified

I am not moved, my God, to love You
by the heaven that You have promised me
and I am not moved either by hell so feared
as the reason to stop offending You.

You move me, my Lord, it moves me to see You
nailed to a cross and your flesh destroyed,
what moves me is to see your body so injured,
what moves me is your suffering and your death.

What moves me, finally, is your love, and in such way,
that even if there was no heaven, I would love You,
and even if there was no hell, I would fear You.

You don’t have to give me for me to love You,
so even if what I hope for I did not hope,
the same that I love You, I would love You.

               —Translated by José Leo O S

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